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Elizabeth Murray on Using Bold Colors

Elizabeth Murray broke barriers in the art world by putting content into abstraction.

Premieres Friday, September 7 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)


When I saw Elizabeth's show at Paula Cooper my entire life changed.

It was so clear to me that for the first time for whatever reason these were her most probably formless paintings the first show you know but they were absurd there was kind of fantastic screaming color in them.

I really wanted to use strong color and nobody was using color.

People were using color but not the way oil paint looks And I knew I wanted that and that I could learn to get that to do it.

Even though they were there was very little going on they were very reductive there still was a physicality to the piece that was lovingly made in a, she'll probably hate this, the fact that it looks like a woman made it. Um... I remember the surprise of seeing Beginner, you know where she went really big you know taking on the kind of formal power of abstraction and also moving away from abstraction at the same time because you know Beginner had that big what we all called this big Tweety Bird shape in it.

I was trying to not have an image and have an image.

Making abstraction personal was unbelievable... it was such a big jump.

Everybody was always looking for something new well Elizabeth did something new, she put content into abstraction that was new.


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